Tag Archive | spice

a special kinda something

I love my house.  I’m a bit of a homebody.  I love the freedom of being able to do what I like, when I like and not feel uncomfortable.  I like my stuff where I want to put it.  I like to be able to relax in my surroundings with Viper, Misty and Boosty.  After almost a decade of house sharing, I relish in the luxury that is living on our own as a family.

I have lived in a few different cities, many different houses, with a variety of colourful characters.  I’ve been pretty lucky, I suppose, I haven’t had to endure any really horrible or hideous people – most of those I have lived with I consider good friends today – there have been just a few who have been what I call special.

Special Housemate #1:

He was hairy.  I mean really hairy.  He once asked me to help him dye his hair (!)  I remember not being able to distinguish where his head hair-line stopped and his neck hair began.  Shudder.  We named him the Reclining Beast, as he liked to sprawl himself in his favourite armchair, wearing an old tatty terry towelling robe with nothing underneath.  It would always “accidentally” fall open.  I think he was a bit of an exhibitionist.  Yeah, he was really hairy.

This is not him, but the likeness is eerily similar.

Special Housemate #2:

He was a perfectly nice kind of guy, but there was just something a bit off about him.  You know what I mean?  We named him Creepy.  It didn’t matter what you said, he had already done it, but 10 times better.  He was stronger, faster, smarter and richer than you could ever dream.  He literally told us he was a lead guitarist in a band, an on line entrepeneur, a barista, and a talented chef.  Yet he worked in a coffee shop, lived in a dingy house with us, and would always pay his rent late.  Hmmm.

The creepiness was what went on in the bathroom.  This guy had some weird habits.  Picture this:  you get up in the dark at 3am to use the bathroom, but it’s occupied.  By Creepy. You wait out in the hall, thinking that he won’t be long in there, it’s 3am for Pete’s sake.

He would spend hours in there.  In the middle of the night.  Doing what you may ask?  Who knows?  He would violently turn the taps on, off, on, off, on, off, on.  His hair dryer (yes, hair dryer.  He had really short hair, and would always wear a hat. Hmmm) would be blasted in a similar ferocious fashion to the taps.  There was much speculation over what went on during those midnight bathroom sessions.  Actually I don’t think any of us really wanted to know the truth.  Creepy.

Why? Why would he need one?

Special Housemate #3

Pigman.  I secretly called him Pigman.  Slightly mean, yes, as he did have a little bit of an upturned nose.  It wasn’t the nose however, that inspired the name.  It was the snorting.  Every morning I would be woken from my slumber not by the sweet melodies of songbirds, but by the snorting of phlem I could hear through the walls.  The whole household would be woken by this snorting,  It was disgusting.  The snorting wasn’t the only annoying part.  There were the stories too.  So many stories.

I have always worked in quite ‘socia’l work settings – either retail or hospitality which both involve a lot of “people-time.”  By that I mean constant interaction with not just work mates, but the general public.  This can be pretty draining;  usually when I got home of an evening, I was done with talking for the day.  I wanted peace, quiet, and chill out time.  Pigman would barrel into the house, literally shouting his stories of the day at my head.  At first I tried to be polite and humour him, but after a while I just couldn’t handle it.  The stories would not stop, and when one ended, another one would start-up straight away.  He was the Never Ending Story (teller).  I would actually physically walk away from him, and he would follow, shouting his stories at the back of my head.

Viper called him “Smokey the Bear” as when he had finally run out of stories (by this time, I would have barricaded myself in my room just to get away from the stories) he would retire to his room and proceed to watch surfing DVDs all night while a particular pungent smokey aroma would fill the house.  So the snorting, story telling swine was also a stoner.  Amusing now that I look back on it, but he drove me crazy.  Thinking about the snorting still makes me shudder.  It was disgusting.

Now when I need to relax, and escape to my own special place, I drink this:

Chai Spice Tea

This is my ‘loose’ recipe – my mix changes on a weekly basis.  Add or subtract whatever you like.  I’m a fan of spice, so sometimes I even add chilli and fenugreek depending on my mood.

  • 2t black pepper corns
  • 3T dry ginger root (ginger powder will work)
  • 3t nutmeg (use whole nutmeg and grate it)
  • 3T whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon quills
  • 6 whole star anise
  • 2T rooibos tea
  • 4T powdered mixed spice
  • 2T green tea
  • 1 1/2T green cardamom pods
  • 1/2C strong black tea of choice ( I used this mix which included other random bits and pieces) Plain black tea is fine.

Put your cardamom, cinnamon, and star anise in a mortar and pestle.

Smash it up.

Mix with other ingredients.

Easy.

Brew however you like – I’m crazy for really strong tea, so I put it in a very fine mesh tea infuser lined with cheesecloth (so all the powdered bits don’t escape and make sludge at the bottom, ick).  I let it steep for about 10 minutes in boiling water, then add honey and a tiny splash of milk.  This is my usual cuppa, but in the evenings when I want something a little more hearty and comforting, I steep the tea in vanilla soy milk and add a bit of maple syrup.  Warm, sweet, milky, spicy – makes for one sleepy and satisfied Lou.   Especially when I can drink it in my own house with no special house mates or snorting.

Have you had any special house mates?

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